What can we call ourselves besides aunt and uncle?

Guest post by Laura
aunt and uncle shirts by BRDtshirtzone
My brother and I both agree that the term “Uncle” is just plain boring, and does not sound all that appealing. I also am not all that interested in ever being an “Aunt.” I have tried to do research on other endearing terms aunt and uncle alternatives (and not foreign language names that mean “Uncle” and “Aunt”), but cannot seem to find anything.

What do you call yourself if you are an “Aunt” or an “Uncle,” or what do you call your relatives who fit this role, but not this name? — Laura

Comments on What can we call ourselves besides aunt and uncle?

    • I tried so hard to be an Aunt Allison, but it sounds so wrong, with the 2 As, and my name is already hard for kids to say. So we tried Tia Allison, but in the end, I’m just Allison.

    • Funny you should say this. When my brother and I were young my Aunt and Uncle (my dad’s sister and her husband) were Auntie Debbie and Uncle Ronnie. Then it became Aunt Debbie and Uncle Ronnie. Then around 13 yrs old (and my brother was around 12) my Aunt said, “You can start calling me Debbie.” It took me a bit to stop saying it (she said it made her sound old). Fast forward, my husband asked one day why I just Debbie and Ron instead of Aunt and Uncle as he thought it was odd (so I explained why). The only people I still called anything formal after that was my Grandma (fathers mother) and Grandpa (Mother’s father), and my Uncle’s parents. That was more out of respect (not that I don’t respect my Aunt and Uncle and other senior members of my family (older cousins separated by a generation gap), but for some reason to me Grandparents need to be called Grandpa and Grandma (or what you call your Granny/grandma/mimi, etc)).

  1. There are the diminutives auntie and unky, but those aren’t much help. My brothers have taught their kids to call me Diana, but I don’t know how to enforce encourage a title. But if you don’t like the title, there’s no reason you need one.

    As an aside, I HATE when people call me Di, at work it’s either Diana or just D, but for some reason, I love the way Auntie Di sounds, and if I could, that is what my nieces and nephews would call me.

  2. My nephews call me Aunt Lala or just Lala as they get older. It was coined by my brother and sister-in-law and now my whole family and friends just call me Lala as a nickname. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it at the beginning but then I quickly realized something – Lala is really easy for babies to learn to say so they could call me by name way before any of the other family members. 🙂

    • I named my Aunt Laura “Lala” as well when I was little and 30+ years later that’s what everyone calls her (all the nieces, nephews, our friends and even a bunch of grownups who were introduced to her as Lala instead of Laura, haha…) And most of the time its not “Auntie Lala” anymore, just Lala. 😉 So you’ve got a good name there!

    • I call my grandmother Lala (Filipino for grandmother), but the aunts and uncles have a unique tradition in my family. When one of my older cousins was little he thought you had to say “Oh” before addressing someone to be polite, so he would walk up to his aunts and uncles and say “Oh Derek?” etc. Now all the aunts and uncles, even the in-laws, are O’name. I look forward to being O’Mary someday!

  3. My best friend and I used to play roller derby. My “derby name”-Slaughter-Kinney, is not super child friendly. She doesn’t want her 2 year old talking about “slaughter” this and that at daycare. So, I’m Auntie Otter. However, Persephone (the 2 year old) has decided that I will now be known as “Tee-Tee”. We think she has adapted Auntie to Tee-Tee.

    Some kids will just make up a name for you!

  4. My niece has always just called me Beezy (my nickname) and my husband Matt. We never really found any need for her to call us Aunt or Uncle…it’s not like we call her Niece. But we are really super close. I probably never would have felt comfortable just calling my aunt and uncle by their names because I was never really that close to them, and Aunt Blank and Uncle Blank sounds more formal.

  5. My daughter calls her Aunt Sam Sam. She came up with it on her own. One of my close friend’s nephews call her Kakie as her name is Katie and when they were small they pronounced it that way and it stuck. Often times it seems kids come up with there own names for aunts and uncles.

  6. We often use the Aunt or Uncle but then replace the name with whatever the baby/child called that person, which comes out pretty funny and cute at times. My name is Brooke and and my nieces still use their baby talk name, “Grookie”, for me as a pet name/term of endearment. My grandmother went by Mommom because that’s what the first grandchild called her, etc.

  7. My husband loves being an Uncle. He thinks it’s super cute when his nephew comes a running yelling, “UNCLE RYAAAN!” I do not really have a name with the nephew, as I think he’s a little shy around women, plus my name is hard for a 3 year old to pronounce. The parents call me Auntie Lauren, hoping it catches on (he has said it a couple of times)…but I’m not wild about it. “Auntie” makes me sound like I’m 62. If he ends up calling me that, I’m fine…but it would be awesome if he came up with (or everyone came up with) a super-cute nickname for me. I love the above commenters nickname of “Lala”.

    In my family, we switch titles around often. We’ll go between saying “Aunt So-and-so” to their actual name. However, I do call my aunt from the other side of the family “AW” or “A-dubs”, which is short for “Auntie Wendy”.

    I think if you’re not wild about the “Aunt” or “Uncle” title. Ask the parents to help you come up with something more suitable. They may have creative suggestions. It could be a play on your real name, or something endearing like “Bunny” (everyone calls my mom’s friend’s mother “Bunny”, including her daughter).

    I also always thought “Oji” and “Oba” were cute. They are the informal Japanese word for “Uncle” and “Aunt” respectively.

  8. My kids refer to my big sister and her husband as Weird Uncle Tim and The AuntieChrist. They mean this with love, and the nicknames were created by my brother-in-law himself!

    • My sister is “Anti-Rachel” to her god children and our niece. It’s hilarious, because people try to correct the kids. “no, sweetie, it’s Auntie, with an ‘e’.” and the kids just blow them off.

  9. My mom is Chinese so I called her brother (my uncle) “Jojo” (the spelling is hard since it’s Chinese but I’ll just write them exactly how they sound). Her older brother is “Da-jojo” and her younger brother is “shou-jojo” (shou rhymes with how).

    She didn’t have any sisters but a lot of my Chinese friends tell their kids to refer to me as “ayi” (sounds like ah-eee).

    On my dad’s side, we didn’t really see the family much but when we did, I called his brother Uncle and his wife Auntie.

    • I’ll be using “Ayi” (female) and “Shu Shu” (male) too. Though I’m not ethnically Chinese and I have no siblings, my husband and I did live in China for ages and the appellations Ayi and Shu Shu have the added benefit of not having to be blood relatives. Specifically, the two girls that stood with me as bridesmaids during my wedding will be Ev Ayi and Gemma Ayi (the honorific is added after the name for both words, if it’s added at all). It’s a way to acknowledge a family of choice, and not just by relation. It’s also a nice nod to both of those ladies who both speak and appreciate Chinese. They’ll both be the most fantastic Ayi’s ever.

      My husband’s only sister on the other hand will likely remain “Aunt,” based on her preference.

    • My family uses a few native terms for aunt, uncle and grandpa.. Aunt=chewy like chewbacca!:) Uncle = dega (day guh) grandpa = choka (choke uh).
      We also call my great aunt just Aunt Cissy which stemmed from all HER brothers and sisters (my grandpa etc) calling her Sissy. I don’t think I could ever call her Aunt Wildine.

  10. When my brother got married his 11 year old stepson decided he couldn’t call my boyfriend Uncle. So, since M had just died his hair black (and it looked bad…), my nephew decided to call him Skunkle. It stuck, and now all of us are Skunkles and Scaunts.

  11. I call my aunts and uncles by only their first names. It used to irk some of them, but they got over it. How about Captain? “Captain Jane, can we go out and play?” Or some variation of your first/middle name? My paternal grandmother we called Mimi, which was her idea because she couldn’t bear being called Grandma (think a very short, but regal and kind Spanish grandmother). My other grandmother we call Mémé, which is French.

    There’s all sorts of nicknames you could use!

  12. In both my family and my circle of friends, children do NOT call adults by their first name only. It’s just not done – it’s a cultural thing, both European and Asian. Adults that are close are called Aunt and Uncle. It’s a sign of both love and respect. And for a bunch of first-generation Americans, a way to create an extended family.

    But if this doesn’t float your boat, I don’t see why you couldn’t just go by your first names. All the teachers at my niece’s school go by Miss First-Name, so there’s always that.

    • When my Aunt remarried, she married a very traditional Samoan gentleman, and I did not meet him right away as I was a 25 year old adult with my own life. My cousin, who is also an adult, made the mistake of calling him by just his first name, and he was very unhappy with her. Luckily, (though it was strange to me, since I call my aunt by her first name alone), I had her lesson to learn by and have always addressed him with the uncle title, and he has always been very warm and supportive of me.

      I’m an only child, so in my family, being called Auntie Ashley is something I’m very proud of. It means that my cousins love me like a sister, and my kids like first cousins, instead of the distance that many families have. My ex, however, loathes being called Uncle Rich by even his own nephews/nieces as it sounds like a creeper name to him.

  13. My sister-in-law’s sister is Kim, and I’m Katie, so when our nieces began talking, we became KiKi and KayKay. Now all the kids on both sides of the family call me KayKay. On my husband’s side, the kids are half-Filipino and call us Tito and Tita. However, my husband’s brother often calls him “Uncle Tito,” which translates as “uncle uncle.”

    • I also like Tito and Tita since these titles are also used to give honor to any adult a child feels close to, and I am very big on “chosen family.” 🙂

  14. my stepkids call my parents Miss Heather and Mr Walt. i love it. its formal enough to establish authority but not stuffy. I once dated a guy who’s niece and nephews called him Gunkle. thte whole family started calling him that. It was cute. My cousin called my sister Kubby instead of Kelly and that stuck too.

  15. A dear friend’s nephew calls her Aunt Muppet (she’s got bright colored fluffy mohawk hair, it’s very muppet-like). I work at the school he attends so instead of Miss Jessi, like the rest of the kids, he calls me Mrs. Muppet (I also have fluffy colorful hair). It’s one of my favorite pet names.

    My whole family calls me Roo- my sister started it when I was a baby. So my only niece calls me Auntie Roo. It’s adorable.

    I always called my aunts and uncles “Aunt_____/Uncle_____” until I was about 9. Now they’re just first names.

    • And the same niece calls me husband “Uncle”. Which is hilarious to me, because she has a half dozen various uncles. She might call him Adam to clarify, but mostly, just Uncle.

  16. We have a few friends who are honorary aunts and uncles to our kids. One friend of ours decided to be known as Aunt Banana. My partner who is genderqueer and doesn’t feel adequately described by aunt or uncle is called “Choochie” by a niece. It evolved from the “choochie face” song my partner’s family members used to sing when they were kids. Our kids called my partner Duda which evolved from something silly between us. Anyway, just play with sounds and words you like and make something up.

  17. In Spanish, Tia is officially aunt, but that is the name we use in my family for my mom and dad’s aunts. MY aunts are Titi (tee-tee). Now that I have a nephew, I’m Titi Ale’ and my (very Caucasian) husband is Tio 🙂

    • My sister’s nickname is “T,” so it seemed very natural for my daughter to call her “tia.” My sister’s daughter calls me “ti-ti.” 🙂

      We’re from the south, so we grew up calling everyone “aunt” and “uncle.”

  18. My husbands nephew Ryan calls him Uncle Dood, because my husband would always say to Ryan, “What’s up, Dude?” I don’t think Ryan knows my husbands real name! haha. Ryan calls me Set, because his mom’s pet name for me is Setters.

    Growing up I called my aunts Tia (I’m Mexican) and my mom’s funniest story is when I was little I asked why we called my Tia Lupe, Tortilla. hahah!

  19. My names stephanie but my” niece” (my best friends little girl) calls me aunt stessy. When she first started saying my name it came out aunt sexy so for about 6 months i was referred to as aunt sexy whenever they were around.

  20. We call my child’s grandparents “Gigi”, like Gigi John and Gigi Ava. We call the aunts and uncles, and really all of our friends, “Titi” (said teetee), like Titi Ryan and Titi Helena.
    We wanted gender-neutral names and came up with Titi because of the Spanish words Tio/Tia. Gigi just sounded cute.

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